NETHERLANDS: COVID-19 has caused havoc around the world. Governments of different countries, institutions, and medical systems are working hard to fight this pandemic. Along with them, many COVID-19 warriors are putting their efforts to make this world a better place, and Advocate Pranita Deshpande is one of them. Deshpande is a lawyer, journalist, and writer.
Deshpande has been working hard every day to raise awareness and motivate people in these testing times. From raising awareness for women’s safety to empowering women in rural areas, Deshpande has left no stone unturned for making society a better place for women. She has been taking the help of various mediums like radio, TV, and newspapers to do her job. Currently living in the Netherlands, Deshpande has managed to capture everyone’s hearts with her work.
Deshpande hails from Akola city of Maharashtra, India. She completed her schooling at Bharat Vidyalaya, Akola. Interestingly, Deshpande’s grandfather Late Shri. Vasudeorao Manbhekar started this school in the city. Her grandfather was a close associate of ex-Prime Minister of India, Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After completing her college studies, Deshpande came to Aurangabad to study and pursue her childhood dream of becoming a lawyer.
Talking about her family, she said, “I’m grateful for my family especially my grandparents and mom. I love them a lot. I lost my father at a very young age. However, living in a joint family with all my relatives always made me feel safe and secure.”
In 2008, she completed her BSL, LLB degree from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU) with flying colors. After completing her graduation, she worked for a few years as a legal consultant in various companies. Deshpande had worked for ICICI Bank, Aurangabad, ShareKhan Ltd., and MD India Healthcare Services.
During this time, she managed various legal matters such as agreements, company incorporation, and registration, wills, etc. Along with this, she also used to fight for cases related to domestic violence and gender-based violence in several cities of Maharashtra. Now, Deshpande has gained more than nine years of legal experience in multiple legal domains across India.
Journey from India to Netherlands
Along with advocacy, Deshpande also contributed her time in philanthropic works. She has been a part of various legal aid camps which were organized in Maharashtra. Deshpande is a strong supporter of feminism. With her works, she has raised awareness for various issues of society. Her efforts for society were highly appreciated by the people. Due to her activist works, she was appointed as a Jalna District Vice-President (Women’s Wing) of the Nationalist Congress Party.
In 2017, Deshpande decided to move to the Netherlands. Deciding to leave her homeland and settle down in a new country seemed like a tough challenge for her. However, she put on a brave face and accepted this challenge. To understand the Dutch culture in a better way, Deshpande decided to learn the native language and completed it.
Since 2018, Deshpande has been a Trustee of the Foundation for Critical Choice for India (FCCI) in the Netherlands. She has now been promoted to “Director of Youth Affairs and Joint Secretary”. She had also participated as a speaker in the seminar on Energy Transition (Technology, Business and Policy Perspective) organized by FCCI on June 30, 2018.
In June 2018, Reuters news agency reported that India was the most dangerous country for women. This news shook the entire world. Many Indians were quite upset with the news. At that point, Deshpande decided to give a reality check to the FCCI.
The Indian Diaspora Association, FCCI organized a public seminar on December 2, 2018. Deshpande participated as a speaker in the seminar which was based on ‘Women’s Safety in India’.
She presented her findings in the seminar. The findings included a presentation which was made on “Indian Laws to Protect Women’s Rights. The seminar was a huge success and she was widely praised for her findings and presentation. Now, Deshpande is an active participant in every seminar which is organized by the FCCI.
Achievements and projects
Deshpande is working effectively on various projects and promoting the common interest relations of Dutch and Indian cultures in local communities. She is also working as a freelance writer. Her articles on cultural, traditional, and legal topics have been published in various Indian and Dutch magazines like Lokamt Times, Sakal, Free Press Journal, etc. Deshpande is a recipient of many awards and has received honorable mentions from the Indian government. This year, her 1st book “Bharatatil Mahilanche Swatantra and Suraksha” was published and it was launched by Maharashtra Chief Minister, Hon. Shri Uddhavsaab Thackeray.
Talking about the impact of COVID-19 on people’s livelihoods, she said, “Today, everyone is trapped in the four walls of lockdown whether it is partial or full lockdown. Clear skies, lush green forests, cool winds, and drizzle as a bonus are all there is to it. But this year, COVID-19 has turned the tide on all these dreams, and everyone is disappointed Everyone is aware of the great punishment that nature is inflicting on us. During this pandemic, it is very important to stay positive and happy.”
Deshpande believes that there is some magnetic force present in nature and people should stay motivated and think positively. Recently, Deshpande has launched a calendar that has stunning pictures of beautiful places in the Netherlands. Interestingly, all the pictures are clicked by her.
Talking about her table calendar, Deshpande said, “ My flower concept in this calendar may create some kind of positivity in your mind and may the present year-end on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright new year.”